From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. Very broadly it dates to between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of "high" culture (behavioral modernity) and before the advent of agriculture. The terms "Late Stone Age" and "Upper Paleolithic" refer to the same periods. For historical reasons, "Stone Age" usually refers to the period in Africa, whereas "Upper Paleolithic" is generally used when referring to the period in Europe. In 19th century archaeology, the Upper Paleolithic was also known as the "Reindeer Age".
50 000 BC
- At Ksar Akil in Lebanon, ornaments and skeletal remains of modern humans are dated to this period.
40 000 BC
- Cro-Magnon appear in Europe, early cultural center in the Swabian Alps, earliest figurative art (Venus of Schelklingen), beginning Aurignacian
- Zar, Yataghyeri, Damjili and Taghlar caves in Azerbaijan.
- Europeans understand how to harden clay figures by firing them in an oven at high temperatures.
30,000 BC—26,000 BC
30 000 BC
- Venus of Dolní Věstonice. It is the oldest known ceramic in the world. The Red Lady of Paviland lived around 29-26,000 years ago. Recent evidence has come to light that he was a tribal chief.Template:Citation needed
- People start to live in Japan.
25,000 BC—17,000 BC
- Wall painting with horses, rhinoceroses and aurochs, Chauvet Cave, Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, Ardéche gorge, France, is made. Discovered in December 1994.
- start of the second Mousterian Pluvial in North Africa.
- Venus of Petřkovice (Petřkovická venuše in Czech) from Petřkovice in Ostrava, Czech Republic, was made. It is now in Archeological Institute, Brno.
- Neanderthals believed to have become extinct in Europe.
- Last Glacial Maximum: Venus of Brassempouy, Grotte du Pape, Brassempouy, Landes, France, was made. It is now at Musee des Antiquites Nationales, St.-Germain-en-Laye.
- Venus of Willendorf, Austria, was made. It is now at Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna.
- end of the second Mousterian Pluvial in North Africa.
20 000 BC
18,000 BC—15,000 BC
- Last Glacial Maximum. Mean Sea Levels are believed to be 110 to 120 meters (361 to 394 ft) lower than present, with the direct implication that many coastal and lower riverine valley archaeological sites of interest are today under water.
18,000 BC—11,000 BC
- Ibex-headed spear thrower, from Le Mas d'Azil, Ariege, France, is made. It is now at Musee de la Prehistoire, Le Mas d'Azil.
18,000 BC—12,000 BC
17,000 BC—15,000 BC
- Hall of Bulls, Lascaux caves, is painted. Discovered in 1940. Closed to the public in 1963.
- Bird-Headed man with bison and Rhinoceros, Lascaux caves, is painted.
- Lamp with ibex design, from La Mouthe cave, Dordogne, France, is made. It is now at Musee des Antiquites Nationales, St.-Germain-en-Laye.
- Paintings in Cosquer cave, where the cave mouth is now under water at Cap Margiou, France were made.
16 000 BC
15,000 BC-12,000 BC
- Paleo-Indians move across North America, then southward through Central America.
- Pregnant woman and deer (?), from Laugerie-Basse, France was made. It is now at Musee des Antiquites Nationales, St.-Germain-en-Laye.
- Paleo-Indians searched for big game near what is now the Hovenweep National Monument.
- Bison, on the ceiling of a cave at Altamira, Spain, is painted. Discovered in 1879. Accepted as authentic in 1902.
- Domestication of Reindeer.
12 000 BC
11,500 BC—10,000 BC
- First evidence of human settlement in Argentina.
- The Arlington Springs Man dies on the island of Santa Rosa, off the coast of California.
- Human remains deposited in caves which are now located off the coast of Yucatán.
- Venus of Laussel, an Upper Paleolithic (Aurignacian) carving.